Family Life, Parenting

Mom About Town: Leonis Rousseve

Leonis Rousseve is a resilient mom of three and deftly balances her family, career, and self-care. From managing her personal brand to nurturing her children’s diverse needs, she finds joy in family traditions and watching her children care for one another. With a supportive husband, a passion for trashy reality TV, and her authentic personality, Leonis embodies modern motherhood with grace and determination. 

What does a normal day look like for you?

LEONIS: I work from home, so I’ll wake up at about six-ish, 6:30. I go straight into getting the kids ready for school. I bring them to school and get back home at about eight o’clock. That first hour is about eating breakfast and checking my emails. I do what’s called a “money minute,” so I check all my bank accounts, check my credit score, my credit cards, and things like that. I take five minutes and go through all the financial stuff. If I do it early in the morning, then I don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day. I also use that first hour to post my content for the day. I usually don’t put on my “coworkers” (a.k.a. the cast of Dance Moms) yet because I’m still trying to be productive, but I get all those housekeeping things done first thing in the morning.  And then at 9-ish, I’m already logged in and checking my emails, and that’s when I’m really focused on my work. I go pick the kids up at about three-ish, and I start cooking dinner at about five-ish. Jordan comes in a lot of the time and helps me. We make it like a lesson, and we eat dinner by 6:30, bring the kids up for a bathtime and bedtime is right after that. Usually, the kids will go to bed by about eight-ish, and then my husband and I will sit up and watch our TV shows. That’s our time to enjoy each other in the evening.

What inspired you to pursue your career?

LEONIS: I had my oldest son a month after I graduated high school. I had gotten accepted to a really prestigious HBCU in Atlanta, Spelman College. I was in the gifted program, and I was the homecoming queen runner-up. I was supposed to be going places, and then I got pregnant. So I told my school counselor, and the way they responded to me was in a very negative way, and it did not make me feel supported. From then on, it was like, I want to do that, but I want to do it in a different way; I want to be a person that girls can reach out to or a person girls can feel supported by because I didn’t have that at such a vulnerable time. Before that, I wanted to be a child psychiatrist. But when I got pregnant, I realized that was going to take too long. So that’s where I kind of fell into the social work role. I went to school for psychology at UL back at home; then, I found a social work program at Tulane, moved to New Orleans, and I just stayed here after that. 

What are some joys and challenges of being a mom?

LEONIS: It is a challenge having the big age gap, but there are joys and challenges in both. It’s tough sometimes to be present in the developmental stage that each one is in. My 16-year-old has autism, so he struggles with communication and expressing himself sometimes. So I have to be very mindful of how I word things or how I ask questions. I also have to be a mind reader sometimes because he’s not able to express certain things. Then, I have to be in the mindset of a four-year-old who thinks she’s super independent, but still needs a lot of help. There’s also an 18-month-old that’s just into everything and I’m having to literally run behind him and stop him every five seconds. So I have to turn on and off my brain with three completely different mindsets. They do keep me on my toes and there’s never a dull moment. It’s really cool watching them sit and play together and help teach each other things without me having to step in. It gives my heart the most joy because I created all three of these humans, and to watch them love each other in the way that I love them is just an indescribable feeling.

What is your favorite thing to do as a family?

LEONIS: Our favorite thing is– hands down– movie night. Before I met my husband, it was just me and my oldest. We used to celebrate Christmas Eve by doing a movie night watching Polar Express. That was his favorite movie for years. When he was in elementary school, they would do this thing called Fun Friday, and you would get to watch movies and eat snacks in class. When COVID happened and he was no longer in-person, he asked if we could continue doing Fun Friday at home. I love doing traditions, so I’m like, sure! He loves old 90s and 80s movies, like the movies that I loved when I was a kid. So I don’t complain because they’re my favorite movies too. We try to do newer movies now and things that Jordan will be into. All in all, movie night is the best time in the Rousseve household.  

What personality traits of yours do you see in your children?

LEONIS: I see a lot of myself in Jordan, more than anyone, honestly. She is the only girl, but she’s very strong-willed. Whether it’s something that she wants or something she’s trying to figure out, I can see her mind going and she’s not going to stop until she figures it out, and that’s how I’ve always been. Dylan is like me because when I was a kid, my mom said every parent meeting she went to, and every teacher she met, everyone always had something nice to say about me. I was always the sweetest kid and very much so a rule follower… Dylan is the exact same way. He wants everybody to be happy. You can’t meet him and talk to him without smiling. Ryan is still a baby and we’re still getting to know each other. But he’s very mischievous. He likes to do silly things to make you laugh, but not necessarily to get in trouble, just to rock the boat. I think he got some of that from me as well, but they all have such different personalities. And all of them, you can see a little bit of both of us. Just watching those personalities mill together, it’s just really cool watching them interact in that way.

How do you keep reality and social media separate? 

LEONIS: I’ve curated my feed, and I do that all the time. There are a couple of content creators I used to follow, and I loved watching their creations because it was so cute. But then, I had to really reflect on how it made me feel when I watched those things. It made me feel like dang, I should be doing that. So I had to unfollow accounts that did not bring me joy, that didn’t make me feel good about myself. They made me feel bad about who I was as a mom, and I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not going to let any app make me feel bad about myself. I’m very big on curating my feed daily, getting rid of accounts that don’t make me feel good, and adding accounts that do. There are times when I put it away for a day or two and just unplug if I need to, and I encourage anyone and everyone to do that. As a content creator, reminding myself that I’ve built my account and built my community based on just sharing my life, I don’t have to overcomplicate it. That’s what I built my community on being relatable and doing the everyday normal thing. So just doing that and taking that pressure off has helped me as a creator.

What advice would you give to other parents?

LEONIS: Always do whatever works for you and your family. Don’t subscribe to a certain type of parenting style or a certain “thing” that you’re supposed to do. No matter what you do or how you do it, do whatever works best for you and your family, and give yourself grace. I think a lot of our mom guilt and anxiety comes from comparing ourselves to other parents and families and how they do things, how we wish we could do things, or how we’re not doing this good enough. But as long as whatever you’re doing is working for you and your family, you’re doing great

Quick Qs

  1. Guilty pleasure…….……………………………….Laguna Beach
  2. Favorite date night?………………………………Grabbing drinks and a steak dinner
  3. Favorite vacation spot?………………………….Jamaica
  4. Favorite book right now?………………………We Should All Be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers
  5. First thing you do when you wake up?…….Check my emails

This article was originally published in March 2024.

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